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Thread: And Libya goes on...

  1. #81
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Agree on your assessment of the man

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Having Qaddafi remain in power as part of a political strategy is a non-option.

    1) The man is deeply unpopular in Libya, and indeed across the Middle East. The international community would be seen as complicit in protecting him.

    2) The man is crazy. This is not a term I use lightly, but it fully applies in this case. I think the chances he will ever voluntarily leave power or step down are close to zero.

    3) Despite the changes in the Egypt and Tunisia, the Arab world is still a club of dictators, and has little credibility (or interest) in a democratic transition in Libya, even if they would like Qaddafi to go.

    4) As we know from Cambodia, a heavy UN presence is no guarantee that a dictator will actually leave in the end. Some 17 years after losing the 1993 elections (guaranteed by 21,500 UNTAC peacekeepers, at a cost of $1.5 billion), he is still effectively in power.
    But to simply create a gaping hole and see who falls into it is not the best way to go. Clearly it would have to be a closely structured deal, perhaps with a son instead of him, but also on a 12-18month term to have some stability as the transition works out. Plus this is, as I said, far bigger than one man and one state, what we do sends a message to the entire region. We don't do ourselves any favors if we make every other dictator in the region feel like their back is against a wall.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 03-09-2011 at 07:39 PM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  2. #82
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Why is it up to the USA to decide Qaddafi's fate, one way or another?
    It's not. Our actions must be tuned to support our interests first and foremost. If that means putting a hand in this boiling pot to do so, then we should if the interests are important enough, and not if they are not.

    And again, this is a stage, and a lot of people are watching with interest, and that audience is more important than the stage is
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  3. #83
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The North Atlantic Treaty
    Washington D.C. - 4 April 1949

    The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.
    They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area.
    They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. They therefore agree to this North Atlantic Treaty :

    Article 1

    The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

    [...]
    My emphasis.

  4. #84
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Why is it up to the USA to decide Qaddafi's fate, one way or another?
    For better or for worse, because we are the only ones who might actually DO something and we have been for a long time. The world is probably better for it, though I expect a lot of disagreement on that one.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    For better or for worse, because we are the only ones who might actually DO something and we have been for a long time. The world is probably better for it, though I expect a lot of disagreement on that one.
    I think the Libyans in Benghazi and Ras Lanuf and Zawiyah are actually doing something.

  6. #86
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    I think the Libyans in Benghazi and Ras Lanuf and Zawiyah are actually doing something.
    Very much agreed. I should have been more precise. Of external actors who can, we are the only ones who will generally do anything.

    Those Libyans may need some help.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  7. #87
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good question and it raises some others.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    For better or for worse, because we are the only ones who might actually DO something and we have been for a long time.
    Are we those who will do because we are compelled (using "compelled" in most senses of the word...) to do that -- interfere to 'help?' Are we "the only ones" because others know we will -- therefor they need not? If that is correct, do we like it that way? Do they? Should we?
    The world is probably better for it, though I expect a lot of disagreement on that one.
    I think you're correct in both cases. There will be those who disagree but I think that's due to the fact that while we have overall provided betterment IMO, we've done a lot of inadvertent and / or stupid and unnecessary damage in the process also IMO. (See questions above...).

    However, I posit all that rhetoric to ask a question:

    Can anyone give me a pressing US interest that merits our getting involved in Libya?

    (I realize one could and many have raised the same questions about Afghanistan and Iraq, as have I, though in their case I suggest what was done -- retribution for the WTC and removal of Saddam / sending a message that we're getting tired of being nickeled and dimed -- was a pressing interest and was necessary. Post facto 'involvement' was not. If we interfere in Libya, we will get involved...)

  8. #88
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Ken,

    I think it is more in the line of logic as applied to the Korean conflict. Did we have a pressing interest there specifically? No, but the region was in turmoil so based on timing, location, and connection to the larger issues to be addressed we ended up in Korea. Where we get in trouble is that we always seem to lose sight of the strategic big picture that coaxes us into these situations, and become fixed to the tactical realities of the specific place.

    This is one area where Powell's rules are helpful. Define it clearly up front and communicate that so that everyone understands the "whys" of the operation and with clear ends can hopefully ward off the ever-present vortex of mission creep that is always ready to suck one in...

    I don't think we have a pressing, vital national interest in Libya per se; but we do have a pressing, vital national interest or two across the greater Middle East, and if we act, how we act, or if we sit on our hands, it will indeed affect those larger interests. There are risks and opportunities here if we can look past the noise and drama of the close fight (but everyone loves a gunfight, to watch, anyway, and our tendency is for generals to start becoming squad leaders, pilots, etc right about now)
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  9. #89
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default London viewpoints on NFZ

    Contrasting views on a NFZ from RUSI:Against
    Imposing a No Fly Zone in Libya will be seen as a coercive step that may demand escalation. Western governments must therefore resist calls for a NFZ over Libya until it is clearly and convincingly the correct path to take.
    Link:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment...4D6FAFB3B61EA/

    The author is ex-RAF officer, so has a practical aspect to his arguments and IIRC a SWC member too.

    For NFZ:
    As the Qadhafi regime unleashes slow-motion slaughter in Libya, a no-fly zone is the most compelling response, particularly in the face of growing demands for limited assistance from Libyans themselves. Critics of such an idea have yet to explain why the limited efficacy of NFZs means that they ought to be shunned altogether, or why a time-limited NFZ cannot be later withdrawn if proven impotent.
    Link:http://www.rusi.org/go.php?structure...C4D6F85386C4DA

    Personally I see no public appetite here for such a role, for may reasons. This could alter if Arab nations "bite the bullet" and say we can assist. Why not use facilities, even airfields, in Egypt and Tunisia? Even aircraft!

    Meantime I do incline to NATO / a coalition of the willing staying out until far better arguments are made and what is the exit plan?
    davidbfpo

  10. #90
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I don't think we have a pressing, vital national interest in Libya per se; but we do have a pressing, vital national interest or two across the greater Middle East, ...
    Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iraq and Kuwait are amongst the top 15 crude oil suppliers of the U.S..
    "...the top ten sources accounted for approximately 88 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports..."
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html


    Let's assume that none of them would be willing to sell oil to the U.S. if the U.S. stopped seeing vital interests in the Middle East (the opposite is a more likely reaction, but that's another story).
    That would mean a loss of supply of about 800 million barrel/year.

    Now assume that the U.S. would need to buy these 800 million barrels/year at outrageous doubled price then for a few years, until the world market is re-arranged (the four countries keep selling, just not to the U.S.).

    The average market price for WTI crude oil in 2010 was somewhere near USD 80/barrel.

    So we're discussing national interests in a trade volume of only 800 million * USD 80; USD 64 bn.
    64 billion $$$. That's how much? 6-10% of U.S. military spending?
    How much U.S. military spending is being 'justified' with Middle East meddling?


    I don't see any major U.S. interests in the MidEast region that justify the great expenses people have become accustomed to. There are primarily special interests, the tails that wag the dog.


    Germany is importing a 7% of its crude oil supply from Libya and we're mcuh more close to Libya than the U.S..
    I still consider German national interests in Libya to be smallish. Our primary interest is the security of the EU's southern frontier, and Libya is no troublemaker in this regard. The oil import issue can be resolved with a slight deviation from business as usual.

  11. #91
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    ... mission creep that is always ready to suck one in ...
    The noble intention to "do something" to topple a dictator would probably be followed by the desire to see a measure of stability restored to the country before we leave. The result might be that 12, 18, 24 or more months down the road we might be wondering how we ever let ourselves become embroiled in such a mess. It brings to mind the old expression about having to fend off alligators when the initial mission was to drain the swamp. Mission creep is a useful concept but situations don't remain static between the time an operation is first planned and when it is put into effect; the plan has to be adjusted to adapt to changing circumstances, hence the danger of becoming involved in the first place.

  12. #92
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default It's a multiplayer field...

    ...do we really need to rush in and insist upon picking up the tab yet again? I for one would rather have our democratic partners pick up the check for once; or at least split the cost.

    Eni's 41-Year Qaddafi Link Means Lowest Oil Industry Valuation as CDS Jump
    By Alessandra Migliaccio and Brian Swint - Mar 9, 2011 5:43 AM MT at Bloomberg

    Eni, whose success negotiating oil deals in Africa helped make it Libya’s largest producer, has shut about 9 percent of its total global output because of the conflict. As the biggest foreign investor in Libya, Eni is at the center of Italy’s relationship with its former colony. In turn, Libya owns stakes in Italian companies, ranging from Milan-based bank Unicredit SpA (UCG) to defense contractor Finmeccanica SpA (FNC) in Rome.
    Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni, 64, will make his annual strategy presentation to investors in London tomorrow. He will need to draw on the company’s diplomatic heritage to navigate Libya’s slide into civil war and protect its investments, said Ettore Greco, head of the IAI Institute for International Affairs in Rome.
    Eni’s Greenstream natural gas pipeline linking Libya and Sicily is shut and production in the North African country is reduced about two-thirds, Scaroni said in an interview with the Financial Times published today. The company is now producing about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, compared with 270,000 barrels before the uprising, the newspaper said.
    An Eni spokesman declined to comment on current production in Libya and whether contact had been made with rebel groups.

    “The risk is they have to renegotiate with a new regime and may lose their contracts and the acreage,” said Andrea Williams, a fund manager at Royal London Asset Management in London, who hasn’t sold her Eni shares because she expects the company to weather the conflict.

    The cost of insuring Eni’s debt is the highest among the 10 largest oil companies in Europe and the U.S. The price of a five-year credit default swap for Eni exceeded 100 basis points this week, compared with 58 for Shell, Europe’s largest oil company. A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($14 million) of debt from default for five years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year.
    Libyan central bank chief surfaces, by Roula Khalaf in London, Published: March 8 2011 19:15 | Last updated: March 8 2011 23:00, Financial Times

    Late on Tuesday night the governor finally surfaced: in an e-mail sent to the Financial Times, he said he had been informed that the secretary of planning and finance had been appointed as acting governor and confirmed that he had been in Istanbul. But he insisted that he was doing his job, and that it was easier to conduct business abroad than in Tripoli.

    The statement, however, did not shed much light on the governor’s loyalties. He said he would resign after the crisis but also that he had been working hard over the past two weeks to explain the central bank’s position and clarify the effect of the international effort to freeze Libyan assets. Blocking central bank funds could lead to a humanitarian disaster, he said, including a reminder that he had always operated in line with regulations and had modernised the Libyan banking system.
    The fate of Mr Bengdara has attracted much attention but bankers say he was already on his way out before the crisis. Since taking over at the central bank in 2006 (he was deputy governor before that), he was considered something of a reformer, opening up the banking sector to foreign capital, tightening supervision and setting up a clearing system. But he was seen to have won his job thanks to Seif-al-Islam, the Gaddafi son and apparent heir who had championed a more liberal economic system.
    EU will Milliarden für die Entwicklung Nordafrikas sprechen, 8. März 2011, 18:45, NZZ Online

    EU-Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso will Milliarden für die Demokratisierung Nordafrikas zur Verfügung stellen. Er stellte eine «Partnerschaft für Demokratie und gemeinsamen Wohlstand» mit den südlichen Mittelmeerländern vor. Sie wird am Freitag von den Staats- und Regierungschefs der EU offiziell beschlossen.
    Der frühere deutsche Aussenminister Joschka Fischer (Grüne) warf der EU unterdessen schwere Versäumnisse vor. «In der Stunde grösster Herausforderung versagt dieses Europa», sagte er der «Stuttgarter Zeitung». «Es ist trostlos: keine Idee, kein Plan, keine Initiative.»

    Insbesondere verlangte Fischer ein umfassendes Hilfs- und Aufbauprogramm. Er forderte auch konkrete Massnahmen zum Sturz des libyschen Machthabers Muammar al-Ghadhafi. Auf ein militärisches Eingreifen legte er sich jedoch nicht fest. Daneben gebe es «noch andere Möglichkeiten - auch der diskreten Hilfe und Unterstützung» für die libysche Opposition.
    Sapere Aude

  13. #93
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Surferbeetle, the last headline is crap German, but it's not your fault. The headline is actually crap German in the original.

    They're merely dusting off their standard repertoire: throw money at a problem, pretend that standard tools are good tools.
    The most important thing in the short term is to supply as many qualified free election observers through OECD as the countries ask for. Tunisians have already signalled that this is going to be important.

    The EU and Barroso are not really relevant in regard to what happens in North Africa, but bureaucracies and politicians always want to expand...

  14. #94
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default What happens if...

    The necessary questions:

    Qadafi reasserts power?

    The rebels win?

    Libya splits into two factions and the rebellion becomes a prolonged civil war?

    Then does this matter to the West? Europe? US?

    If it does matter then how much...what is it worth?

    Then if it is worth so much why is it not worth the same to the neighbors of Libya? If Libyan democracy is so important why are not Eygpt and Tunisia providing assistance to the rebellion?

    There are dozens of other questions but these seem the most salient. the bottom line in my opinion is we need to ask WHY we (US and the West) should intevene when the local actors Egypt and Tunisia won't?

    -T

  15. #95
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default You're assuming there was logic applied to Korea...

    Well, there was -- but not much true strategic thought and the US armed forces didn't do it very well. Same applies to Viet Nam -- and Iraq; the strategies weren't great but had some merit -- the flawed execution turned potential pluses into draws or worse. Plenty of blame for all, political and military.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I think it is more in the line of logic as applied to the Korean conflict. Did we have a pressing interest there specifically?
    I believe Korea was akin to Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq in that there was no significant US interest involved but rather US politicians reacting in Pavlovian response to a crisis (LINK) with a sharper eye on US domestic politics than on the international scene. So, in that sense, I agree with you...
    Where we get in trouble is that we always seem to lose sight of the strategic big picture that coaxes us into these situations, and become fixed to the tactical realities of the specific place.
    However, I differ a bit on this aspect -- I do not think we hardly ever have a "strategic big picture." I do think Bush had one with Iraq but it was poorly executed. Generally, we go into the react mode...
    This is one area where Powell's rules are helpful.
    I agree that the Powell -- or the original Weinberger from whence Colin Powell modified his -- rules were and are good but I also believe the US cannot afford to (and will not) operate under that doctrine UNLESS and until DoD lose its risk averse attitude and develops tools to give the NCA more response options than the current all or nothing (and that flows to a great extent from misapplication of those doctrines).

    Such a revamp of the forces is long overdue; a 1904 Army that uses 1917 personnel processes and 1942 training methodologies isn't on the cutting edge of anything. We owe our successes to good people and poor opponents, not to most of the systems and processes we use.
    ...but we do have a pressing, vital national interest or two across the greater Middle East...
    I do not agree, interests, yes but pressing, vital? No, I think not. Fuchs has that about right, I believe.
    ... (but everyone loves a gunfight, to watch, anyway, and our tendency is for generals to start becoming squad leaders, pilots, etc right about now)
    Sadly true.

    I also always love this "WE have to do something..." attitude from a lot of folks who would not even deign to be a part of that 'we,' much less who will be part of it...

  16. #96
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I thought only the US was that silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    They're merely dusting off their standard repertoire: throw money at a problem, pretend that standard tools are good tools...
    We do that for everything...

    Troufion:
    ...the bottom line in my opinion is we need to ask WHY we (US and the West) should intevene when the local actors Egypt and Tunisia won't?
    Yes. Great question -- and both are capable of doing that...

  17. #97
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    This is what I figure. The dictator has been around a long time, preserving his power through brute force. During that time he has intentionally killed Americans and we tried to get him once. The brute force has made what seems to be most of his people very unhappy, unhappy enough to protest in the streets. That is a very dangerous thing to do in the dictator's land but the people let their excitement get the better of them and did it anyway.

    The arguably psychopathic dictator shot them down in the streets for their trouble and brought in hired killers from foreign lands to shoot more of them. The people reacted in a noble but maybe foolish way and defended themselves and many of them decided they'd had enough of the dictator and are trying to get rid of him, the only way that it is possible to get rid of him, through violence. Since this is pretty much a spontaneous uprising, the people are completely disorganized and are now learning, first hand, a lesson of history-that organized groups are much better at violent endeavours (sic) than unorganized groups, even it the unorganized groups are much larger. The people are having a lot of trouble now but have no choice but continue with the desperate attempt because the dictator is not likely to be merciful if he wins. The people have to win, die or flee. Win or die mostly because a lot can't flee.

    Given the above, it seems to me we should help the people to the extent we can, especially if they request it, which, from David's references above, a number of them have. To the extent we can; and we can now. It isn't 1956 and circumstances force us to stand aside. We don't need to round up all the L ships and land the troops. The people don't seem to want that anyway. But we can keep the airplanes off their heads. We can help and if that assistance allows them to win, then good for them and good for us. It will be their victory and maybe we will have a little influence in the aftermath. If they lose even with us helping some, then that is what happens sometimes, but, but at least we will have tried. That is important I think.

    Like I said I don't see us getting up steam in the L-ships but I can see us putting some Aegis cruisers and destroyers offshore and some shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile teams on the ground to keep the dictators jets and helos off their heads, especially since some have asked for that kind of help. I can even see some A-teams going to help coordinate things, since that is what A-teams do. Not much more than that, but that will have been something. Maybe a lot too since the morale effect of jets and helos is perhaps more than the physical effect. If that doesn't work we will have tried.

    There may be no immediate benefit to American interests in that. Most of the time you can get along with the devil himself if you make acommadations (sic). We could have left the Brits to rot but for the dopey Japanese and we did leave the Rwandans to die. But the world is watching and they judge so I think it is in our long term interest to try just a little.

    I know that is coming off as Pollyanna (you are hear by cleared to use that in any way you see fit) and not many think the same, but I think this is important and we should help. This won't be a sure thing in any respect but we should try.

    Life ain't fair in that it is us who do these things, if we do them. But that is the way it is because we are the only ones who will. We should be proud of that.
    Last edited by carl; 03-10-2011 at 04:49 AM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I also always love this "WE have to do something..." attitude from a lot of folks ...
    Well, it could be they have an exaggerated sense of what is possible to accomplish with military force because they grew up when you were in the 82nd!

  19. #99
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Well, I've 'helped' here and there.

    And all I got was a lousy T-shirt (literally)...
    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    ...If they lose even with us helping some, then that is what happens sometimes, but, but at least we will have tried. That is important I think.
    Having done that a few times, I'm very aware of what happened AFTER we 'helped.' That is not always pretty and our reactions to what occurred are, frankly, often pretty poor -- because the idealistic 'help' eventually runs afoul of hard national interests, time or money crunches and those we helped are abandoned to a fate worse than had we not helped at all. That's one of those 'be careful what you wish for, you may get it' things...
    Like I said I don't see us getting up steam in the L-ships but I can see us putting some Aegis cruisers and destroyers offshore and some shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile teams on the ground to keep the dictators jets and helos off their heads, especially since some have asked for that kind of help.
    Some. More have not. Most would take it if it appeared and would later be about as thankful as are most of the others we have 'helped' over the years -- which is not much.

    Any way you cut it, you're suggesting military involvement and that is sort of like pregnancy, just a little isn't an option. You get just a lowly A Team clobbered or lose a C-130 and crew and your fellow Americans will start screaming for blood and we're off to the races...

    Don't cuss at anyone unless you're prepared to be cussed in return. Do not ever pull a gun on anyone unless you're prepared to use it. Do not employ military force unless you're prepared for the escalation that will almost certainly occur.
    There may be no immediate benefit to American interests in that. Most of the time you can get along with the devil himself if you make acommadations (sic). We could have left the Brits to rot but for the dopey Japanese and we did leave the Rwandans to die. But the world is watching and they judge so I think it is in our long term interest to try just a little.
    A valid and decent opinion, others share it. However, many do not agree. Who's right? Hard to say. The US Guvmint will work its ponderous way and do -- or not -- something and, either way, the world will pretty much go on. That, BTW is not accommodation, simply reality. As was the fact that the "dopey Japanese" were provoked into war by FDR who used that same war to start denuding the British and the French of their Colonies. That, too, is reality.
    I know that is coming off as Pollyanna (you are hear by cleared to use that in any way you see fit) and not many think the same, but I think this is important and we should help. This won't be a sure thing in any respect but we should try.
    Not a Pollyanna, just very idealistic -- and that's not bad. Unfortunately, it is of little help in a world where many will use idealists and then try to damage them -- as many do to us today in subtle and not so subtle ways. Gratitude and altruism are desirable human traits in individuals. Nations are not individuals and they do not really deal in either of those attributes...
    Life ain't fair in that it is us who do these things, if we do them. But that is the way it is because we are the only ones who will. We should be proud of that.
    We can be proud of a lot of things and I am -- we can (or should) also bemoan a lot of things we've done to 'help' that did more harm than good.

    Fairness isn't an issue, as you say life is not fair. The issue is one of the cost-benefit ratio. The result achieved should at least approach the costs incurred -- there are NO zero sum equations internationally -- and the idea of military 'aid' or low key involvement ALWAYS starts off that way. Unfortunately, as Petreaus famously asked early on in Iraq, "Tell me how this ends?" is usually not asked until it's too late...

  20. #100
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Surferbeetle, the last headline is crap German, but it's not your fault. The headline is actually crap German in the original.
    Oftmals wenn ich Deutsch-Englisch lese, bin ich zufrieden mit meiner Englisch-Deutsch. In this case the headline comes from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung which is headquartered in a country with four official languages (German, Italian, French, and Romanisch) unlike our countries which each have only one. Nonetheless, the headline could use some work:

    EU will Milliarden für die Entwicklung Nordafrikas sprechen
    My 'diplomatic' translation which takes into account intent is:

    EU will discuss committing billions (one would imagine Euro's) for development in North Africa
    My literal translation is:

    EU wants to speak for billions for development in North Africa
    The article goes on to discuss Mr Barroso's pitch to the EU Parliament on this topic on Tuesday 8 March 2011, as well as Joschka Fischer's negative take on the idea. Herr Fischer is in an interesting position given that CDU/CSU could potentially lose their political grip on things in Germany this year...one state election down (Hamburg) and six to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The EU and Barroso are not really relevant in regard to what happens in North Africa, but bureaucracies and politicians always want to expand...
    This is an interesting statement. Portugal, a member of the EU periphery, is once again inching closer to default while Frau Dr. Merkel, even though she has unexpectedly lost Herr Axel Weber, continues her inexorable moves to control the heart and soul of EU fiscal policy.

    Carl,

    Let's not 'rush to failure'

    Italy has the Carabinieri, the Folgore, and the Alpini, Silvio and Vladimir are continually working some energy deals while the EU and NATO are looking at options as well (Libya: European navies update, and links, by Alex Harrowell, 6 March 2011, at A Fist Full of Euro's)

    IMHO, we need to keep our powder dry; let's keep eye on the cultural heart of the Arab World - Egypt, keep an eye on the energy heart of the Arab World - Saudi Arabia ( Saudi Arabia's `Day of Rage' Lures Record Bets on $200 Oil: Chart of Day By Ann Koh and Kim Kyoungwha - Mar 7, 2011 1:09 AM MT at Bloomberg ), and of course keep an eye on Israel and Iran.
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 03-10-2011 at 07:07 AM.
    Sapere Aude

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